It’s no secret that young people are susceptible to influence. Every day we see teenagers make decisions that not only limit their future opportunities, but also negatively impact their friends, families and community.
We believe in being a positive influence in the lives of developing youth, and we’ve witnessed firsthand how mentoring can create change at a grassroots level.
How did we get here?
- To get kids back on track, we must address the root causes of their situation. These include:Poverty—Financial strain makes it hard for families to stay together.
- Broken families—Without a cohesive family foundation, youth lack the structure to stay out of trouble.
- Insufficient or poor role models—Having a friend or family member that a youth can look up to is critical.
- Acceptance of crime—Peer influence and neighborhood norms make crime involvement commonplace.
- Media influence—The internet, social media and music often glamorize or normalize crime.
How is 4C different?
The mentor program at the 4C Coalition has been very successful in recruiting and retaining mentors. Most of our mentors have stayed with the program beyond the required one-year commitment; several have agreed to be re-matched with another young person if the first assigned youth did not complete the program.
Our mentoring outreach is designed to support 35 mentor-youth matches, and our staff is now the lead agency for the Seattle Cares Mentoring Movement. Our approach has been so successful that King County Superior Court included our organization in their general budget.
Mentoring has provided youth in King County with an adult who cares and listens to them, helping them through a very difficult time. Our success comes in large part because of community commitment and concern — community members who have taken the time and had the courage to volunteer.